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It is difficult to fathom Chief Judge Walter Braud's thinking on the Rock Island County Courthouse.

Perhaps he believes the structure will block his view from the his chamber in the new court house. Even if he has his way, he will be looking at a long time vacant church building.

I recall when the judge was a member of the Rock lsland Parks Board Commission, he was just as enthusiastic to demolish Longview Swimming pool. He tried to convince a group of west side residents that it would not be missed by the neighborhood residents since most of their kids didn't swim anyway. Braud lost when the opponents to the plan to move it to the Rock Island Fitness Center objected.

The courtyard of the courthouse has a wall inscribed with the names of those killed in action in WW I and WW II, a statue of a Civil War soldier and a memento from the famous U.S.S.Maine. Inside the courthouse are names of the early settlers of the county, and those who died defending our country.

Judge Braud will have his name memorialized in the new court house where it will remain until the time comes when a future judge may order it demolished. It is obvious the building materials in the new structure will not outlast the current courthouse.

Judge Braud, his predecessors, the sheriff, and his predecessors are to blame for lack of maintenance of a unique and historic building, which graces the gateway to the city of Rock Island.

Vincent Thomas

Rock Island